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Pandya reveals World Cup pain ahead of injury return

The star all-rounder has no regrets on trying to return from injury early during the knockout stages of the World Cup.

India all-rounder Hardik Pandya has revealed he made the ankle injury he picked up during last year's ICC Men's Cricket World Cup even worse when attempting to return during the knockout stages of the event.

Pandya hurt his ankle when bowling during India's World Cup clash against Bangladesh in Pune and had some complications with the issue when trying to launch an unlikely comeback and play again in the semi-final and final of the tournament that was eventually won by Australia.

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While Pandya admitted he would have normally allowed the injury to heal naturally, the 30-year-old said the attempted return for the closing stages of the tournament was worth it as a 50-over World Cup only comes around every four years.

"My injury, from day one, showed that I'm going to be out of the World Cup, but playing for India has always been special, especially in a World Cup. (So) we pushed (for) 10 days - we knew that it's an uphill task to be fit for the World Cup semi-finals or finals," Pandya said. 

"When we pushed, I kind of triggered my injury (further), and the injury became a little longer."

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Pandya is now fit again and looking at making his return to playing during the upcoming Indian Premier League ahead of another tilt at the ICC Men's T20 World Cup in the USA and Caribbean in June.

The all-rounder played a pivotal role in helping India to the semi-finals of the most recent T20 World Cup in Australia and is likely to be a crucial part of the side’s plans for a second title this time around.

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Pandya played down any ongoing fitness concerns when speaking to the local media in Mumbai on Monday by suggesting his body felt good and he plans to play as both a batter and bowler when captaining the Mumbai Indians in the IPL tournament that commences later this month.

"Yes, I will be bowling," Hardik said. 

"My injury at (the) World Cup was a freak injury. It had nothing to do with my past injuries, it had nothing to do with my fitness. When I got fit, the Afghanistan (T20I) series had just started (in January). I've been fit since then, but there were no games to play."

Cricket World CupNewsHardik Pandya 10/11/1993